One of Pasadena’s most influential arts organizations is preparing to bestow its seventh annual Impact award to an outstanding local contemporary arts group working directly with youth.
The Pasadena Art Alliance (PAA) will award that deserving youth-oriented arts organization a $22,500 grant. The Impact Award will be given to the organization to continue their exemplary ongoing arts education efforts.
The award, which was created in 2015, is a way for the PAA to further strengthen its support of contemporary visual art education in Los Angeles County by extending its reach to younger students who are ineligible for PAA’s well-established Grants Program, the group said in a statement.
Past recipients of the award include artworxLA, Heart of Los Angeles, Pasadena Education Foundation, Ryman Art, and Side Street Projects.
According to PAA Impact Award chairperson Julie Ward, the PAA was created in 1955 by a group of Pasadena women interested in supporting contemporary visual arts. At the time of their founding, their focus was The Pasadena Art Museum, which eventually became the Norton Simon Museum.
The group was acting largely on the inspiration of Galka Scheyer, a patron and collector who, in 1951, donated the “Blue Four Collection” to the museum in trusteeship for the people of the State of California. The collection was a set of modern works by artists Lionel Feininger, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Alexej Jawlensky.
The donation vaunted the little-known museum into the upper ranks of American art museums.
“The Pasadena Art Alliance is a group of women that has slowly grown through the years. We support artists, exhibitions, educational programs, and arts-oriented nonprofit institutions,” said Ward. “And it’s a group of women who put on an event every year, whether it is an art auction or our treasure sale.”
The PAA has consistently cultivated and grown in its influence throughout the Southern California art world over the decades.
Most recently the PAA raised $300,000 with which to give grants to contemporary visual arts programs in the Los Angeles area, said Ward.
“Artists know us, museums know us,” she said. “We give grants to smallish organizations all the way up to LACMA, so we are extremely well recognized and very well regarded — because we also think outside the box.”
“We provide grant funding to a lot of exhibitions and programs that might not be easily funded otherwise,” Ward continued.
Ward called the group’s history of grant making “extraordinary.”
“It’s just what we do. We support the arts and in return, the arts support us. It’s a two-way street.”
The deadline for applications for the Impact Award is February 1. Organizations interested in applying for the Impact Award may visit the PAA website at www.PasadenaArtAlliance.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.